Think about the people who stand out in a crowd and seem to have the largest group of friends. They have a magnetic personality that is memorable, makes others feel good, and is emotionally engaging. This popularity only grows as more people come in contact with them.
The same goes with a brand, which is exactly why you want to have a strong one for your small business. You want people to remember your product or services, solve a problem, or make them feel good.
These are the powers that connect others with your brand. This dynamic personality level is what makes people stick with and tell others about you or your brand. A small business brand can get a personality that is as large as the big brands' identity, with just a few changes.
Here are ways to strengthen your brand identity for your small business:
Create a visual of your brand in the form of a logo
A strong brand is a visually stunning brand. Think of it as a picture of all the attributes you want to share with your audience about what your brand represents.
In a very visual world, painting this picture for your customers and prospects helps keep you top of mind. When they see the logo you have made, they will make a connection between what you represent and what they like about you. This type of bond is a strong brand identity.
Update and monitor your social presence
A strong brand is a known and social brand. To make your brand identity stronger, you need to take it to the people—and they are on social media platforms. If you are only on Twitter, this might be the time to consider adding a profile on other sites. Zip over to Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat where most of your audience is hanging out.
When you create social profiles on these sites, make the brand look, feel, and messages consistent. If you don’t, you will confuse the audience and dilute the brand identity you are building.
Get customers and influencers to work on the brand’s behalf
A strong brand is a talked-about brand. Recruiting fans to help with brand strengthening efforts can yield faster and larger results. Tactics, like encouraging your customers to create online reviews go a long way.
Your influencers can tweet, shout, snap, and talk about your brand. Having this following adds credibility and piques interest among your target audience. This audience who listen to their peers, first and foremost.
If you have allowed yourself to be known, and you have something worthwhile, you will get it. It may take some time, but at least get the word out.
Deliver content your audience can use
A strong brand is a brand that delivers value. Consumers and businesses are online primarily to search for information they need to make decisions about products or services that can solve specific problems.
This process takes place well before any brand is selected, which provides you with the opportunity to offer them that information and get brand recognition.
Once the content can be applied in their life and it provides the value they had hoped for, then they will begin to associate expertise with your brand.
Create an experience but don’t forget about everyday interactions
A strong brand is a customer-focused brand. It may seem like you need to focus on creating those incredible experiences in order to build strong brand equity. While these one-off experiences are important, including in-store and online events, remember that your brand is the sum total of every interaction they have had with your company.
This means paying attention to all the details and things that may seem little but make a difference to your customers—response time, ability to find and get answers quickly, and a convenient checkout, easy e-commerce system, as well as a simple payment system.
Even the messages you include on correspondence with them count toward brand building.
Keep your promises, be authentic, and stay transparent
A strong brand is an honest and ethical brand. While it seems obvious, the truth is so many small businesses ruin their relationships with customers by not sticking to their promises and telling a few white lies.
Nothing weakens a brand more than dishonest business practices and behavior that shows profit over customer. You want customers to feel good about working with you so they feel compelled to tell others about your brand.
If you aren’t sure if you can keep a promise, consider what you promise before announcing it. The better approach is to actually under-promise. That way, when you meet those minimal promises or even go beyond them, your customers are pleasantly surprised.
Always be honest. If you can’t help a customer with a particular problem, tell them and even give them a recommendation. Don’t worry about losing them. They will come back because they appreciate your candor and know you can help them with other things.
Lastly, show them what they are getting and don’t hide anything. Be transparent with your policies, procedures, and fees. The result will be trust, and that’s one of the most important ingredients that go into a strong brand identity.
Take a stand and define your values
A strong brand stands for something. So many brands try to be everything to everybody. It’s refreshing when customers see a brand that focuses on certain values that represent what they are for or even against.
This could be standing up for social justice, the environment, or a business practice. Whatever you select, make it clear how what you stand for is part of your brand and product or service offering.
John Rampton is an entrepreneur, investor, online marketing guru, and startup enthusiast. He is the founder of the payments company Due.